2017-09-13 / Front Page

Retired officer Bobbie Jockel dies

By Diana Royal

A woman who served the citizens of Waynesboro and Burke County for more than 20 years lost her fight against cancer last week.

Bobbie Jockel, 63, was a law enforcement officer for both the Waynesboro Police Department and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. She died on Wednesday, Sept. 6, surrounded by family and friends.

Longtime friend and former WPD partner Claude Wade said Jockel “did a lot for this community” and recalled that she loved to take candy over to daycare children. “She’d get so excited when she bought that big bag of suckers. Bobbie really was all about community policing. People don’t realize all the things that she did because she was never one to put herself first.”

Former Magistrate Judge Gloria Johnson recalls times spent with her friend both on and off the clock. Jockel, who got started at the WPD as an officer and eventually an investigator, worked alongside Johnson for Burke County Against Family Violence. “Bobbie was not your average officer,” Johnson said. “There are good offi- cers and then you have someone like her, someone who wears the blue with such pride. That is just who she was.”

Johnson mirrored the same sentiments Wade had about Jockel and her knack for community policing. “Some people said she was mean,” Johnson laughed, “but then they’d thank her for it, saying how she’d really helped them. She commented to me several times that she had to act a lot tougher and rougher than ladies because she came into a man’s world before being a female cop was cool. Her partners knew she had their back, and when she drove through different neighborhoods, she had their respect.”

Aside from her tough exterior, Jockel had a soft spot for domestic violence victims and senior citizens. She especially loved Christmas, and Johnson said the two of them not only helped to feed and clothe victims, but oftentimes her friend was right by her side buying Christmas gifts for them. Every year, she’d decorate big for Christmas, Johnson said, and then pick up elderly citizens to bring to her home for Christmas dinner.

One of the most outstanding things Johnson says she will remember about Jockel is how she hit the floor running at 4 o’clock every morning. “She took care of her husband, got him situated with caregivers, and was on time and always professional. She never complained, even though she had long days.” Johnson said the husband and wife shared a special bond, and that Jockel retired from her role as a bailiff for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office to take care of him full time.

Phil, her husband of 36 years, died Monday, Sept. 11, just a few days after Jockel was buried.

“Burke County will never know how many lives she really touched,” Johnson said. “These things really cannot be written, but memories are in the hearts of friends, family and coworkers.”

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